Contact Information

Director:  Dr. Scott A. Williams

Email:  sawilliams@nyu.edu

Phone:  212-992-9583

 

Research

The Evolutionary Morphology Lab in the Department of Anthropology at NYU focuses on visualization and quantification of bony morphology. In particular, Dr. Scott Williams and his students study the skeletons of living primates in order to understand how fossil primates behaved and interacted with their environments. We use laser surface and computed tomography scanning technologies as well as traditional morphometric techniques to measure bones and fossils and compare them to known animals. Our focus is on human evolution, so much of what we dedicate our studies to are the fossilized remains of hominins—members of the human lineage that are now extinct—along with modern humans and living apes, including gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees. Lab members have been involved in the study of two newly discovered species of early hominin, Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi.

 

PhD students Jenny Eyre and Thomas Cody Prang at the fossil site of Malapa Cave. (Photo: Dr. Scott Williams)

Research Projects

Rising Star Expedition, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa (Dr. Scott Williams)

Australopithecus sediba (Dr. Scott Williams)

Mammalian Vertebral Evolution (Dr. Scott Williams)

Australopithecus afarensis (Dr. Scott Williams)

The role of thermoregulation in shaping pelvic morphology (Jennifer Eyre)

Functional Morphology and Evolution of the Hominin Hallux and Forefoot (Thomas C. Prang)

 

Equipment and Resources

  • NextEngine 3D laser scanner
  • Mitutoyo digital calipers (2 150 mm, 1 300 mm) with digital input
  • Software: GeoMagic, AMIRA, and many freeware 3D software
  • Vertebrate Skeletal Collection

 

Lab Members